Stuffed Tomatoes Or Peppers

Course : Vegetables
Serves: 6
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12 large firm tomatoes or green peppers
6 small tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 large tomato peeled, seeded and chopped
4 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons dill finely chopped fresh
2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped fresh
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 3/8 cups olive oil
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation / Directions:

If using only green peppers, add 6 chopped tomatoes to the stuffing after sautéing the onion. Slice off the tops of the tomatoes/green peppers. Carefully remove the pulp, leaving a shell with walls about 1/4 inch thick. Set the pulp aside and discard the seeds of the peppers. Stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion until transparent. Add the reserved tomato pulp, chopped tomato, pine nuts, currants, herbs, salt and pepper. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes to soften the tomato. add the rice and about 1 inch of water; cover and simmer until the water has been absorbed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill the peppers and/or tomatoes with the stuffing and set them tightly side-by-side in a baking dish just large enough to hold the vegetables snugly. Add enough water so that the liquid reaches halfway up the sides of the veggies. Sauce: combine the olive oil, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl and pour over the stuffed veggies. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the filling is cooked through. To serve, carefully remove the stuffed veggies from the baking dish, freeing the bottoms from the pan with a spatula, and transfer them to a serving platter.

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